We live in such a crazy, never-before-seen world as a result of modern technology. While, used to, families would sit around the fireplace at home and talk the hours away every evening, now each member of the family is regularly glued to their devices and rarely have the time or even desire to speak to one another.
Holiday get-togethers, parties, even date nights have all been taken over by the pull and power of the phone. We ignore our loved ones for the sake of seeing what is going on in the lives of mere acquaintances, but the real kicker is that if those mere acquaintances who seem so interesting at the moment were actually sitting face to face with us in real life, we would do the very same thing to them – ignore them for the sake of yet someone else on our phones.
The harsh truth is that what we are battling is an addiction. It isn’t just that we are being rude to our loved ones as we ignore them so that we can stare at our phones. The reality is that we have an actual phone addiction, and it has to be both recognized as well as treated as such if we ever hope to recover from it and gain back what we are quickly losing.
- Call it what it is.
The first step in breaking free from being a phone zombie is to call it what it is – an addiction – and to treat it as such. The reason we are so glued to our phones is because our brains have literally been re-wired by our interaction with them. From that first moment we all hopped on our smart phones and discovered that the world was at our fingertips and could be so 24/7, our brains first experienced that phone-related shot of dopamine, the “happiness hormone”.
Pretty soon, we discovered how much we liked that feeling and instantly began to search it out again. Before we knew it, one little glance at our phones was no longer enough to produce that same feeling; soon, we needed more and more and more.
Sound familiar? Ask any drug addict, and they will tell you this is the very process that led to their full-blown addiction. This is a serious problem, friends! It goes far beyond our just risking being rude to those in front of us as we stare at a phone.
- Count the cost.
As any addict does, this one is costing us something, and we must count that cost. Is our phone addiction really worth it? Is it worth the feeling of isolation and loneliness it is producing all over the world as we are exchanging our in-person relationships for those we find online? Is it worth the weakening of relationships with our spouses, significant others, parents, children, and friends? Is it really worth it? What do we risk losing if we keep on as we have been and don’t make a change?
- Understand that it is a stewardship.
Digital stewardship – it’s a new term but one we must use and understand in our new day and age. We are all likely familiar with the importance of stewarding our finances well, but the reality is that we have been called by God to steward well each and every gift we have been given – including modern technology!
The digital age in and of itself isn’t necessarily bad; it all comes down to how we are using it. Steward well your phone, or else it will dominate you. We will answer to God for how we used each of the things He entrusted to us, not the least of which being the digital devices we now hold in our hands.
- Put safety measures in place.
Mere human effort, best intentions, resolutions, or promised self-control are not enough. We are playing with fire if we think they are. Just as we would tell anyone battling pornography to not toy around with temptation but instead to run from it in the form of putting a filter of some sort on their phones or computer so that they are directly prevented from accessing pornographic content, so, too, must us phone zombies treat our own addiction with the same seriousness.
Put your phone on airplane mode before going on a date, going to visit family, or meeting up with a friend for coffee. Implement the help of apps like Freedom or ZenScreen that will control your phone, social media, or app usage for you.
Overcoming any form of addiction is hard, but on the other side of it, it is proven to always be so, so worth it. Do what you have to do to be freed, and you will never once regret it! Take back your life once and for all.